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Silicon Valley Entrepreneurs - East Message Board › How to Bootstrap your Business.

How to Bootstrap your Business.

Group Organizer
San Jose, CA
How to Bootstrap your Business.

The key points by Shirlene Reeves, Certified Financial Advisor, at Silicon Valley Startup Funding Meetup 9/06/12


#1. Build with the End in mind – What do you intend to do with your idea?  Some people have big dreams that no one could realize.  Share your idea with as many as you to can, to verify the interest.


#2. What’s your Vision – write it down – share it with others to clarify it.  Review it periodically, to see if you’re on the path, want to change the path.


#3. Don’t quit your Day Job.  Most business don't start making money until the 2nd year, or later.  You’ll need income to survive, until your business can support you. 


#4. Make Money, Not Friends.  Don’t do business without making money.  It’s all right to give away to get started, get a new client, but if you don't make $$ eventually, it’s just a hobby.


#5. Price it attractively.  Find out what your competition is doing (or alternative choices), then price according to your perceived value.


#6.  How do you Get the Word Out about your Product?

A. Define your Benefit from your features so that you can explain them to anyone.

B. What if you were your Client?  What are the benefits you want?

C. Use your Elevator Speech on most everyone you meet.  You never know when you’ll get lucky.  

D. Join Networks:  to develop as many contacts as you can.  Some will be Supporters, maybe Referrers.  Some may be Investors. Some may be future Team Members.

E. Create a little Buzz.  Look for & use all the sources for “free” & “low-cost” publicity or advertising to get the word out in as many ways that are possible.


#7. Project your anticipated Profit conservatively.  Break the numbers down.  Figure out how much it costs you to provide your service or product, then mark it up at least 50%. If it costs you so much that you can’t compete, look for ways to cut costs


About Cash Reserve / Cash Flow
#8. Float Time?  How long will it be, before you are paid from that invoice you just submitted to your customer? Do you have enough “float money” to sustain your company thru 30-60 days and when sales are going slower?


#9. Earning their Keep.  In the begin-ing, don’t hire anyone that doesn’t pay for themselves with the work they are doing.


#10. Don’t depend on getting Funding. Angels & VCs are barraged by requests. If you are able to get in - to present to them - make sure you are highly advantaged to any competitor.  Be passionate, articulate, simple & clear.  Practice your Pitch before groups.  Get Feedback to fine-tune your Pitch.


Contact Shirlene Reeves, Certified Financial Advisor at sReeves.Financial  408-775-4075 for a free session of Financial Counseling.

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